Awareness for Suicide Prevention

A Big Voice for Those Who Can’t Voice Their Own

Musicians Kevin Lachapelle-James (left) and Daniel J. Weber raise the curtains and awareness with an evening of amazing local talent.

Bring a message of hope for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and check out the Xpressions of Hope Benefit Concert at the newly renovated Trinity Hall, Saturday September 14th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at Goldland’s, The Hobby Shop, Pronto Store, online at or at the door. Tea/Coffee and desserts will be served and are donated in-kind by local food vendor Carter’s Canteen.
Featuring the talents of Daniel J. Weber, Brook-Lynn Rozon, Joel Renaud, Infinity Dance and the LaSalle Theatrical Productions, this amazing group of local performers are hosting a variety of art forms including poetry, dance, acting and music to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
“So, I started thinking about this idea for this event last year around this time,” says musician and organizer Daniel J. Weber. “This week that we’re putting the event on is the week of suicide prevention in September and that’s sort of when I started thinking of it last year, going ‘how can we do something in our own community that will really make an impact.’
“I didn’t really get my boots on the ground about it until this year,” continues Weber. “This last Kabaret they had, the summer one where I was involved in it, and it was the first time I’ve been ‘involved’ in sort of a larger scaled show, and I was running the sound board, and then I played one song at the show and I was thinking, ‘you know – I can pull this off.’
“I sort of got a picture of what it could look like and so I started getting to work on it and just getting things organized and finding bands. And I consulted Mandy Belec a lot for some of her resourcing for what bands do you use, how do you find people to play at your show, how do you advertise, just getting some of these ideas out there so I would know how to get things started.” Performer Mandy Belec celebrates her tenth year writing and directing for Kabaret which is now in it’s late forties.

“Dan sat with me up at the sound board for the summer Kabaret,” says Belec, “he asked when it was all over if he could pick my brain. He wanted to know the proper steps he had to take for his fund raising idea – sponsors, entertainment, venue, stuff like that. I tried to help him out and guide him in the right direction.”
“He has the greatest attitude,” continues Belec, ” and was a pleasure to work with. I’m hoping that we can partner up on many more adventures together. And just as an added bonus he is an amazing entertainer. I am helping him out this Saturday with sound and back stage. It’s an honor to work with someone like Dan.”
The performers will be taking center stage in the recently renovated Trinity Hall, where Belec and her Kabaret family have also taken residence for rehearsals, storage and meetings alongside the various organizations that make up the group Friends of Trinity who have resurrected the location.

Corresponding with World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th), National Suicide Prevention Week runs from September 8th to September 14th. All proceeds raised from ticket sales will be sent to this year’s beneficent, To Write Love on Her Arms, “a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.”
What began with one man wanting to tell his friend’s story after spending five days with her before she entered a treatment center, has evolved to an organization with a vision that community, hope and help would replace secrets and silence. Since 2006, TWLOHA has responded to 210,000 messages from people in over 100 countries around the world, traveled more than 3.8 million miles to meet people in their communities, and shared more than 1,100 blog posts and launched a podcast to let others know that they are not alone.
Two point four million dollars has been donated to treatment and recovery.
“And so this is the first time doing this,” adds Weber, “and I hope that it will grow and it will flourish, and will be something we can promote every year to provide hope to our community. We’re going to choose a different charity every year. Different things that are providing helps to people in the community, that really will provide hope for those people at the end of the day. That sort of goal.”

“Well, I had the easy job,” says co-organizer, friend and band mate Kevin Lachapelle-James. Weber (keyboard/vocals) and Lachapelle-James (lead/vocals) make up half of the original four man Christian Rock band Reminiscing the Future, alongside drummer Adam Barlow and rhythm guitarist Toby Tong. The group plays at the Rock Cafe at St. Peter’s on the Rock once a month. “I kinda just reached out to certain people that were on my contact list and threw a few artists towards Dan.”

Singer, songwriter, dancer and actor, Brook-Lynn Rozon has been a crowd favorite on the Kabaret stage with her performances and powerful voice, and is on Saturday’s all-star line up.

“I guess this is just a cause that I can really get behind. Mental health is so important, but most people don’t even think about it. I’m glad that there are people in Kirkland Lake trying to bring more awareness to the issue of suicide. Especially because the stigma around mental health tends to be more prevalent in small communities like ours.”

Brook-Lynn Rozon

Rozon will be performing How to Save a Life by The Fray, Inner Demons by Julia Brennan, In my Blood by Shawn Mendes, and the Justin Timberlake/Anna Kendrick rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors.

“We decided on who we wanted,” continues Lachapelle-James, “who was able to help. Response from the community was great. Any time, coming up to this, even if it was just a small idea when Dan first told me about it, I just asked people, ‘do you think this is a good idea.’ People would go, ‘this is a great idea.’

“Everybody loves the idea,” praises Lachapelle-James. “Everybody wants to be involved. And I really hope that it turns into that on Saturday. A little bit of a late start – things didn’t go as we planned. It’s not really in my opinion where it needs to be, but it’s where it is and I’m hoping that we see a bigger crowd than I would expect. But I do know that every year that we do this we’re going to start getting bigger responses from people, people are going to be more interested, people are going to be willing to get involved and it’ll be bigger and better every year.”

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